I write in response to the story under the heading 'Mass Hysteria over woodland lodges plan' (CP, 23-04-21).

I note that your piece includes some extracts from two letters Mrs James wrote to the IW Council planning department which prompted me also to write to them, rebutting some of the accusations made about the residents who are opposed to the scheme.

Mrs James referred to “an organised campaign bordering on mass hysteria.” Firstly I can categorically say that there has been no mass hysteria and the fact over 250 residents have lodged objections with the planning department indicates how strongly they are opposed to this inappropriate planning application.

As far as the accusation that “an organised campaign” is concerned I can only say that if a number of people with similar objectives have some discussions about the best way to achieve their objectives based on advice on the council website about justifiable things to object to then there was indeed a campaign.

If the objections “are duplicates based on very similar factual errors” it is hardly surprising that there was some duplication as there is a limit to the number of reasons for objecting.

As for factual errors, that is a matter of opinion and I fail to understand that over 250 residents all taking the same view can be unbalanced.

There was only one comment supporting the application and that was submitted by a lady living in Hitchin who submitted it for a friend who lives in Bembridge who did not want her name to be made known “for fear of reprisals and their life being made miserable.”

It is good to know that the residents of Bembridge are held in such high esteem.

Finally, I would also point out that the remark about it being unfortunate that local people did not buy the site is a little inaccurate in that two residents had agreed to bid for the site but the amount they had agreed was the maximum they would pay was exceeded.

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